Do you have a fire protection plan or fire evacuation plan for your business? Most companies do not. In a recent survey, only 35% do. That is unfortunate because fire poses a real threat to businesses and residences around the country. About 15 people die every year in hotel and motel fires and another 150 are injured. In 1012, there were nearly 1,200 fires in hospitals nationwide according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). If you own a business, it is extremely important that you have a plan that includes a fire protection system. This is to protect your clients and customers, staff and business itself.
Why You Need a Good Fire Protection System:
- They save lives and prevent injuries. When businesses had working sprinkler systems, the NFPA has said there have been no more than two deaths when fires broke out in those buildings. Fires that occur in buildings that do not have a good fire protection system spread rapidly and in ways you may not expect. Even having an evacuation plan can limit the number of people who are injured or killed in a fire at your company. These systems prevent a lot of fires, which saves lives. It is almost more important to note what they do for you in the event that there is a fire. They can slow it down long enough so that you can get your customers and clients and staff out of the building and to safety. The peace of mind alone that will come with knowing your people are safe is worth it.
- It can save your business. A fire can do more than some damage to your business, it can kill it all together. Those hotel and motel fires mentioned above cost $76 million in property loss. Sure, you may have a great fire insurance policy but what if your insurance carrier finds you did not have a working fire protection system and says that makes your policy invalid? What will you do then? You may like to think that is not possible but it is. If you have a fire detection system in place that is set up to alert the fire department, you can vastly reduce the damage to your business. The sooner they get the word there is a fire and are able to arrive on site, the better the chances are that they can save your business.
- It can save your neighbor’s businesses. If you run a business in a city, the chances are that you are surrounded by other businesses. If a fire breaks out in your business and you have no fire protection system nor do you have a fire suppression system, if a fire breaks out in your building, it may be able to get out to the buildings next to yours. Fire moves very quickly, depending on what your buildings are made of and what is being stored in them. It is not inconceivable that a fire that starts in your business late at night, when no one is around, can take out businesses on the entire block. This will weigh on your conscious if it happens.
- It will cut your insurance. Most insurance companies either prefer that the businesses they work with have a fire protection system installed and regularly maintained or they require it. When you add fire sprinkler systems to the mix, you have the potential to get a really good deal on your the insurance package for your business. One caveat is that you will have to have it maintained regularly by a fire sprinkler contractor but you will have more peace of mind knowing your business is safe.
No one likes to think about fires happening at their places of business. If you operate a business that has people coming in all day (a restaurant, store), you should have an evacuation plan for your customers, clients and staff. Make sure all your current employees know what to do if you have a fire. Burying your head in the sand and ignoring this as a possibility does you no good. Be proactive and develop a plan, have a decent fire protection system installed and then properly maintain it.